A colleague led me to this one-owner 1971 BMW R60/5 with around 17 thousand miles on the odometer. Its first owner was in the service and bought it in California, rode it back to Maryland, got married and didn't ride it much after that. I borrowed the son-in-law's four-wheel-drive Ford pickup truck with oversized tires to bring the bike home. The truck was extremely thirsty and tires noisy.
The bike hadn't been started in years but once a new battery was installed and sparkplugs changed, it started right up. I went to Stan's BMW shop in Doylestown for the parts and he had everything I needed. Conversely, I happened to be in a Kawasaki dealership waiting for an inspection and overheard a customer asking for some parts for a 1971 vintage Kawasaki. The guy behind the counter all but laughed at him. Nothing the customer was looking for was available any more.
On that same trip Don and I swapped bikes to let him try out the R60. I forgot that when I parked it I tightened the manual steering head dampener and he almost killed himself.
I had stainless steel exhaust installed with less restrictive mufflers, electronic ignition, a new suade leather seat-cover and a cafe fairing from an R90S, complete with voltmeter and clock. This bike is still the smoothest-idling bike of all we've had and its front wheel spins like a bicycle wheel. It was always a bear to start in cool and cold weather but ran strong in the entire RPM range.
We had the bike for 20+ years until I heard of a man from Heid's whose father rode one just like it years ago and the son wanted to buy one to honor his father. I fell for the story and, one day after another disappointment with the front brake, I decided to sell it to him. Every once-in-a-while I regret my decision.
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